A young woman forbidden under Queensland’s tough COVID-19 laws from attending her father’s funeral has only been able to wave to her mum and sister as she farewelled him.
The plight of Canberra resident Sarah Caisip became national news when Prime Minister Scott Morrison made a personal plea for her to be allowed to go to her father’s service.
Despite this, she was only allowed to leave quarantine to make her final farewell at a private viewing while donning full protective-wear, unable to touch her mother or sister.
“I’m doing the best I can,” Ms Caisip told Brisbane’s radio 4BC on Friday.
“I got to see Dad and that was better than nothing so I really appreciate everyone’s support and kind messages through this whole thing.”
She said it was “really strange” being unable to draw support from her mum, Merna, and younger sister Isobelle.
“It was just like a wave from afar. I tried not to look at them and sort of break down in the process.”
The 26-year-old wrote a scathing letter to Ms Palaszczuk after receiving approval to visit her dying father two days after his death.
Meanwhile, Mr Morrison has donated $1000 to a fundraising drive so a Sydney family can pay for mandatory COVID-19 quarantine in order to visit their dying father in Queensland.
The Marks Final Wish GoFundMe page has raised $230,410, after a mere $30,000 target was set to help Brisbane man Mark Keans’ children visit him.
The 39-year-old has terminal brain cancer and was facing the heartbreak of deciding which of his kids he would farewell but Queensland Health officials relented and let them all come after public pressure.
The surge in donations will allow the family to easily cover the cost of quarantine for the children, who are aged between seven and 13.
Mark’s father, Bruce Langborne, said on Friday health authorities had been in touch overnight and offered supervised visits if they spent two weeks in hotel quarantine.
Mr Langborne said the children would not be allowed to touch their father.
“He’s just going to see these masked-up little people. He’s not really going to be able to interact with them and they can’t interact with him and that’s not really what he wants.”
AAP understands the family is still in discussions with the health department over the visit.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is again defending Queensland’s tough border lockdown after Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington accused her government of having “one rule for the rich and one rule for everyday Queenslanders” at a budget estimates hearing on Friday.
About 400 AFL officials and US superstar Tom Hanks are among those given leeway to choose where to serve their fortnight of quarantine while ordinary punters have been restricted to government-mandated hotels.
But Ms Palasczcuk says she has no sway over the border scheme and the final call rests with Queensland’s chief health officer.
The state reported two new virus infections on Friday, bringing its active caseload to 28.
One is a contact of an Ipswich Hospital health worker, the other linked to an outbreak at a corrections training facility south of Brisbane.
The two ongoing clusters are believed to be connected to a pair of quarantine – dodging teens who contracted the virus after returning from Melbourne in June.
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